Ilona Westfall
Ilona Westfall

Stories by: Ilona Westfall

Ilona Westfall is a Cleveland-based freelance writer. When she's not penning articles for a variety of Ohio publications, she's roller skating with Burning River Roller Derby, rolling d20s with her D&D group, or getting muddy in the woods. Follow her on twitter @IlonaWestfall.
Satanic Panic: Exhibit at the Buckland Museum takes a spooky look at pop culture
Just in time for the Halloween season, a new exhibit at the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Majick explores the 80s pop culture obsession with the occult.
A space of their own: The curtain will rise on LatinUS Theater Company’s Blackbox Theater
LatinUS Theater Company will be the first Latino theater company in Ohio with its own dedicated theater—the Blackbox Theater—when it premiers “La Casa de Bernarda Alba” in September. 
Online boutique Mapachas focuses on eco-friendly goods
From baby clothes to candles and handmade homewares, Mapachas focuses on conscious consumerism with local, eco-friendly products. 
Something special: Downtown Euclid set to become region's next Special Improvement District
Business owners in downtown Euclid hope the recent decision to make it a Special Improvement District will bring new energy and traffic.
Making Waves: A new Lake Erie water trail is in the works
Break out the paddles, water lovers. A Lake Erie water trail stretching for 25 miles from Bay Village to Euclid is in the works, spearheaded by the Cleveland Metroparks.
Power switch: Cleveland starts move to 100% renewable energy by 2050
When the city of Cleveland revised its 6-year-old Climate Action Plan in 2018, it set an ambitious goal: to use 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050. 
I live here (now): Dane Vannatter
Dane Vannatter, 60, describes his relationship with Cleveland as like a hug. “From day one, it's been an embracing city,” says the Indiana native, who found his way to Cleveland three years ago. And the hug is not just figurative.
Think pink: Ohio City's new Oh Pink! shop is ready to get the party started
These days, every day is a party for Catherine Blubaugh. After all, the owner of the new Oh Pink! Party Shop lives and breathes party supplies while she puts the final touches on her Ohio City storefront to gear up for its June 15th grand opening. But make no mistake—this is not your average strip-mall party shop.
Graffiti HeArt's new gallery takes street art indoors
You’ve probably seen the mark of Graffiti HeArt all around Cleveland, whether you realized it or not. The nonprofit coordinates graffiti-style murals in the city’s private and public spaces, like the vibrant piece on the Stockyard Meats building in Detroit Shoreway and the “Welcome to Cleveland” painting that greets visitors to Ohio City. But with the opening of the Graffiti HeArt Gallery on May 31, the organization will welcome guests and artists to a permanent homebase.
Greater Cleveland Film Commission wants to ensure Ohio's film incentive doesn't have its last act
Proposed cuts in the Ohio House budget means the curtain might fall on Cleveland’s thriving film scene. The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, which gives filmmakers an incentive to bring movie production to Ohio, is on the chopping block to make space in the budget for income tax cuts. But Senate Bill 37 is also in the works, with a goal of raising the tax credit from $40 million to $100 million to pave the way for more growth in the local film industry. It’s a pivotal moment that has the Greater Cleveland Film Commission on edge.
Oh, buoy! Lake Erie's mission to become a "smart" lake just got a few more IQ points
Make no mistake—the buoy gently bobbing in the waves eight miles offshore in Lake Erie is not like the others.
Cleveland-based Augment Therapy is making physical therapy fun for kids via augmented reality
When Lindsay Watson saw how many kids took to the streets to play Pokemon Go, it sparked an idea. In her 13 years working with children with conditions like Down’s Syndrome and cerebral palsy, the pediatric physical therapist often dealt with patients who resisted doing their repetitive and boring physical therapy exercises after leaving her office—but here was a game that inspired kids to ditch the PlayStation for the park without prodding from parents.
The heat is on: Cleveland yogi is the brains behind Toasti, a new heated yoga mat
Jeff Bargiel wants to warm up your yoga routine. As the founder of Toasti, Bargiel has created a heated yoga and exercise mat that makes it easier to get muscles loose and workout-ready—a necessity if you live in a not-so-toasty environment like Cleveland. The avid yoga practitioner first came up with the concept after shivering through one too many home yoga routines.
There's a buzzworthy partnership brewing between Solstice Roasters and Storehouse Tea
Joe Deinhart knows his tea. After all, he’s spent 25 years distributing high-end tea to restaurants and coffeehouses via Solstice Roasters, his Cleveland-based coffee roastery and beverage distribution company. So when Paula Hershman—his long-time friend and owner of local company Storehouse Tea—called about collaborating, he knew it would be the perfect addition to his roster.
Meet the movers and vapers shaping Cleveland's growing cannabis scene
When Terrasana opened its doors on March 28 to become Cuyahoga County's first medical marijuana dispensary, it brought a sigh of relief to cannabis users throughout the Cleveland area. Prior to the opening of its Garfield Heights store, Ohio Marijuana Card holders had to travel to dispensaries in Canton or Wickliffe to get doctor-prescribed cannabis to treat the 21 state-approved medical conditions that qualify.
Karis Dolls help kids cope with traumatic family situations
Inspired by three young children who lost their father, India Gill has created Karis Dolls to help kids through traumatic events.
Ben Turshen is bringing his unique brand of meditation to Cleveland
If Ben Turshen had his way, meditation would be just as vital to your daily routine as brushing your teeth. Like him, you’d settle in for multiple daily sessions to ease anxiety and feel more relaxed. And, now thanks to Turshen, it’s easier to learn how to follow in his Zen footsteps. After successfully founding Ben Turshen Meditation studio in New York City, he recently moved to Cleveland—bringing his practice with him.
Wrap up your shopping with these CLE-made stocking stuffers
Whether your holiday shopping was done in November or you’re still working your way down the list, chances are you may have overlooked the stocking stuffers. Enter this handy-dandy list of ideas perfect as stocking stuffers (or for however you celebrate the season of giving). Even better—each one was made right here in Cleveland.
Ohio City Yoga Collective preparing to make its debut in January
While yoga studios aren’t exactly in short supply in Cleveland, there’s nothing quite like Ohio City Yoga Collective. The yoga scene's latest newcomer will be more than just a space to work on your downward-facing dog when classes kick off in early January. Founders Kira Heeley and Chrissy Sivori hope to bring in guest instructors and experts to offer nutrition classes, aerial silks, fitness workshops, massage therapy, and more.
Bike Cleveland has geared up for a big November
It's easy to assume that with fewer bicyclists on the roads Bike Cleveland might slow down when the temperature drops. In fact, the cycling advocacy group is in the midst of a busy month with its 2018 Strategic Summit and Cranksgiving Cleveland events.